Over 217 Ethiopians Receives Sight-Restoring Eye Transplants

In the current fiscal year, 217 blind individuals in Ethiopia have received eye transplants, resulting in the restoration of their vision.

Habtamu Taye, Deputy Director General of the Ethiopian Blood and Tissue Bank Service, reported that in the past eleven months alone, 217 people underwent eye lens transplant procedures.

The donated eye lenses from volunteers were distributed to various medical institutions responsible for performing the transplants.

The donations were made after conducting preliminary tests to screen for diseases that could be transmitted through the eyeballs.

Additionally, 445 individuals have pledged to donate their eye lenses posthumously, although the number of such applicants remains low.

Habtamu Taye highlighted that currently, the collection of eye lenses after death is taking place only in Addis Ababa.

However, the transplants are being performed at medical facilities in Hawassa, Jimma, Gondar, and Mekele.

It was noted that eye lenses can be preserved for only up to fourteen days after removal from the donor. This limited timeframe underscores the urgency and coordination required in the transplantation process.

A study conducted in 2006 revealed that approximately 300,000 people in Ethiopia have lost their eyesight due to scarring.

Ophthalmology remains a significant social issue in the country, with trachoma being one of the primary causes of blindness among citizens.

The shortage of ophthalmology specialists, coupled with poverty and low awareness of eye health care, has contributed to the widespread loss of vision due to untreated eye health problems in Ethiopia.

On the other way, for the first time in Ethiopia, total hip and knee replacement treatments have commenced at Yekatit 12 Hospital in Addis Ababa.

The Addis Ababa City Administration Health Office announced that Yekatit 12 Hospital Medical College has officially started offering orthopedic surgery and joint replacement services.

Dr. Saeed Muhammad, a specialist in orthopedic surgery, joint replacement, and arthroscopy, confirmed that the hospital is now providing full hip and knee joint replacement surgeries.

This innovative service involves completely removing the severely damaged hip or knee joint and replacing it with an artificial implant.

This initiative marks a significant milestone in Ethiopian medical history, as it is the first time such advanced treatment has been available in the country.

It is expected to benefit many individuals who experience difficulty walking and moving due to hip and knee joint pain.

Dr. Saeed explained that in the past, the high cost of such treatments prevented low-income individuals from accessing these services, leaving them to suffer from severe pain.

He emphasized, “The hospital is working extensively to provide various services to the public at an affordable price to make this service accessible to many citizens.”

The medical expert highlighted several potential causes of hip joint pain, including improperly treated joint infections, arthritis, and other previously untreated joint conditions.

By ethionegari@gmail.com

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